The EU Supreme Court supports Deutsche Telekom’s fight for interest on the EU antitrust fine

BRUSSELS, June 11 (Reuters) – Europe’s highest court on Tuesday backed Deutsche Telekom’s attempt to force EU regulators to pay interest on the refunded portion of a fine imposed a decade ago.

“The (European) Commission must pay interest on the fines it unduly imposed in competition cases and which it provisionally collected,” said the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union.

‘The interest is intended to compensate the undertaking concerned, at the basic rate, for the loss of the use of the amount concerned.’

In 2014, the Commission imposed a fine of 31 million euros ($34 million) on Deutsche Telekom for charging its Slovak unit unfair wholesale prices in Slovakia in order to displace broadband competitors.

The lower court reduced the penalty to €19 million and ordered the Commission to pay interest of around €1.8 million. The EU competition law enforcement authority then refunds the difference to Deutsche Telekom, but not the interest for the period between payment and refund.

The case is C-221/22 P Commission v Deutsche Telekom.

($1 = 0.9289 euros) (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)